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Zachary Quinto juggles Spock, ‘Heroes’ duties

As the evil Sylar on “Heroes,” Zachary Quinto has an arsenal of superpowers at his disposal. Now Quinto is moving even further into the sci-fi world with his selection to play a young Spock in the next “Star Trek” movie.
/ Source: The Associated Press

As the evil Sylar on “Heroes,” Zachary Quinto has an arsenal of superpowers at his disposal. Now Quinto is moving even further into the sci-fi world with his selection to play a young Spock in the next “Star Trek” movie.

Sylar has been one of the most popular characters on the hit NBC show, which resumes Sept. 24. Quinto sat down with The Associated Press to talk about the show’s success, how he landed the “Star Trek” role, and dangle just a few hints about the “Heroes” second season.

AP: Sylar slices open Heroes’ skulls to steal their power. Previously you played Tori Spelling’s gay friend on her series “So NoTORIus” and the mild-mannered Adam Kaufman on “24.” Is playing a bad guy really more fun?

Quinto: I just think (complex) characters are fun to play, and Sylar is definitely that: a really multi-faceted, complicated, flawed obviously individual. ... If it’s a good character that’s equally layered then I’m excited to play that as well.

AP: How did you get the Spock role?

Quinto: I’ve been angling for it for a while. I consider that I mounted a campaign for that role actually. I talked about it a lot in interviews because I knew that they were doing the project and it was something that I was really eager to get involved with.

AP: The role expands a link “Heroes” has developed with its sci-fi predecessor.

Quinto: Isn’t that bizarre? Nichelle Nichols (Uhura of “Star Trek”) is joining the show this year. George Takai (Sulu from “Star Trek”) of course, from last season. So, it’s sort of a little symbiotic back and forth, a little exchange program we’ve got going on.

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Quinto: It’s really important for me and vital for me to get to know him as a person. People are always asking me like, “Well, are you going to watch the old ‘Star Treks,’ are you going to immerse yourself in that whole situation?” I feel like knowing him as a man and knowing the impact that this experience had on his life and his journey as an artist — and I truly consider him just a really formidable artist. He’s really redefined himself and found other outlets for his creativity over the years and that’s really inspiring to me. So, just sort of exposing me to that and really getting to know him and learning where he came from with his character is probably going to be more invaluable than anything else.

AP: The show’s been saying, “Sylar’s evil pales in comparison to a new villain.” Does that mean Sylar’s turning into a good guy?

Quinto: You’ll definitely see a different side to him. I don’t know if it’s a good side or not. But the nature of a show like this is that all the characters have to evolve and all the stories have to evolve and to ever expect that I would be the only force of evil in this epic world is kind of naive and shortsighted. I think that my character is definitely struggling with a whole host of obstacles and problems that he never would have imagined and that he has to really, really deal with before he can sort of get back on track to pursuing all of his power-hungry, murderous rampage Hero hunting.